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chapmaan

Australia
  • 15
  • reviews
  • 10
  • helpful votes
  • 32
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  • A Gift of Time

  • By: Jerry Merritt
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 11 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,793
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 6,430
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,412

When Micajah Fenton discovers a crater in his front yard with a broken time glider in the bottom and a naked, virtual woman on his lawn, he delays his plans to kill himself. While helping repair the marooned time traveler's glider, Cager realizes it can return him to his past to correct a mistake that had haunted him his entire life. As payment for his help, the virtual creature living in the circuitry of the marooned glider, sends Cager back in time as his 10-year-old self.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Smart and original

  • By J. OBrennan on 12-29-17

Did I miss something?

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-17-18

Up until the final scenes I was really enjoying this one. The time spent in the main character's youth would suit me for a series all of it's own. Some very well developed characters and an excellent setting for a very good story. I was invested in our main character and felt like I was right there in rural 1950's America.

But somewhere around the climax I found I was finished before I was really aware of what was happening. I was literally aware of the course of events but there was no connection between this portion and the rest of the book.

What could have been captured over tens, or even hundreds of pages was rushed through in 5.

Shame really.



1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Infinite

  • By: Jeremy Robinson
  • Narrated by: R.C. Bray
  • Length: 10 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,675
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 11,011
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 10,997

The Galahad, a faster-than-light spacecraft, carries 50 scientists and engineers on a mission to prepare Kepler 452b, Earth's nearest habitable neighbor at 1400 light years away. With Earth no longer habitable and the Mars colony slowly failing, they are humanity's best hope. After 10 years in a failed cryogenic bed - body asleep, mind awake - William Chanokh's torture comes to an end as the fog clears, the hatch opens, and his friend and fellow hacker, Tom, greets him...by stabbing a screwdriver into his heart. This is the first time William dies.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • a rather complex science fiction story

  • By AudioBook Reviewer on 12-26-17

An infinite trip to the point?

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-17-18

Whilst I enjoyed this book it spent far too much time in the physical realm.

What do I mean by that?

For a story with the gumption to explore infinity I could have done without the time wasted setting the scene. It felt like more than half the book dealt with subjects that could have been glossed over to ensure enough time was spent exploring the premise of the book.

Worthy of a listen sure, but scant material for the seeker.

  • Ready Player One

  • By: Ernest Cline
  • Narrated by: Wil Wheaton
  • Length: 15 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,561
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,482
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,481

It's the year 2044, and the real world has become an ugly place.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Where's the sequel?!

  • By Gabriele on 09-08-12

Willy Wonka for the 21st Century

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 04-17-18

I must admit I avoided Ready Player One for a while because of Wil Wheaton. I like Wil but an earlier narration was short on gaps which made a narration done with a single voice difficult.

Not so here. Wheaton has come along nicely and fit the main character to a tee.

This was a very enjoyable story with modern sensibilities. As a child of the 80's I enjoyed the references but its strength was much more than that.

Cline spent time creating a complex world within a complex world and I, for one, enjoyed the experience.

  • The Circle

  • By: Dave Eggers
  • Narrated by: Dion Graham
  • Length: 13 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,117
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 7,455
  • Story
    3.5 out of 5 stars 7,476

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world's most powerful internet company, she feels she's been given the opportunity of a lifetime. The Circle, run out of a sprawling California campus, links users' personal emails, social media, banking, and purchasing with their universal operating system, resulting in one online identity and a new age of civility and transparency. As Mae tours the open-plan office spaces, the towering glass dining facilities, the cozy dorms for those who spend nights at work, she is thrilled with the company's modernity and activity.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Terrifying look at a techno-destruction of privacy

  • By FinanceBuzz on 01-20-14

Brilliant

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-10-17

I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

It wasn't the idea of big brother so much as they way the story was read. Dion Graham does a superb job capturing the millennial nature of the characters. Obviously this needed the correct dialogue but I'm certain I would have missed much of the nuance if I read the print version.

Thought provoking and satisfying effort.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Lightning

  • By: Dean Koontz
  • Narrated by: Christopher Lane
  • Length: 12 hrs and 58 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 8,088
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,107
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,122

A storm struck on the night Laura Shane was born, and there was a strangeness about the weather that people would remember for years. But even more mysterious was the blond-haired stranger who appeared out of nowhere - the man who saved Laura from a fatal delivery. Years later - after another bolt of lightning - the stranger returned.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • One of Koontz' best, entirely enjoyable.

  • By Barry S. Sharpnack on 01-01-09

Nice surprise

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-10-17

Great book.

Interesting story and great characters. I don't read Koontz religiously but he does have some crackers from time to time.

Narration was reminiscent of Dragnet. I actually grew to like it.

  • Hominids

  • The Neanderthal Parallax, Book 1
  • By: Robert J. Sawyer
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Davis, Robert J. Sawyer
  • Length: 11 hrs and 26 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 1,775
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 1,082
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 1,089

Neanderthals have developed a radically different civilization on a parallel Earth. A Neanderthal physicist, Ponter Boddit, accidentally passes from his universe into a Canadian underground research facility. Fortunately, a team of human scientists, including expert paleo-anthropologist Mary Vaughan, promptly identifies and warmly receives Ponter. Solving the language problem and much else is a mini-computer, called a Companion, implanted in the brain of every Neanderthal. But it can't help his fellow scientist back in his world, Adikor Huld, when the authorities charge Adikor with his murder.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Great idea, execution a bit flat

  • By CLR on 04-23-13

So good, it leaves me depressed.

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-08-16

I don't often give 5 stars. One part cynicism, one part leaving room for the truly great stories.

This is a truly great story.

Robert J. Sawyer often gets criticized for being overly political. For too often using a story as a vehicle to push his views. I say push on Sir.

Not that I always agree with him, but we're in danger of becoming a society where expressing views different to the norm is sometimes frowned upon.

In Hominids we have an alternate world story that really shows how far humans have to go. Not all that occurs in the Neanderthal world will appeal to most people, but it's not the specifics that tell the story.

Its the vibe of the thing, to plagiarize a great Australian movie.

The Neanderthals behave as though they're all impacted by each others behavior. The Humans, largely, do not.

This mirrors what we all see in the 'real' world.

I believe that Sawyer is trying to add weight to the idea that we should tread lightly and be considerate. We should seek to do our best and respect the idea that it isn't everyone else's job to create wealth for us.

People should be encouraged to do what they're good at, not what's profitable for the few. And regardless of your view on Climate Change, surely the idea of the Neanderthal's architecture and way of life, so close to nature but with complimentary technology, is streets ahead of our concrete, rubbish and noise.

For me, this story shows what's possible. It's a bonus that the plot is interesting and the characters are likable and well developed.

Some may shy away from certain elements of the story. There is the idea of 'Big Brother', and very different versions of family, relationships and sexuality.

I say, don't let specifics get in the way of evolving your ideas.

  • The Long Cosmos

  • A Novel
  • By: Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter
  • Narrated by: Michael Fenton Stevens
  • Length: 12 hrs and 22 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 566
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 517
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 516

It's 2070-71. Nearly six decades after Step Day, a new society continues to evolve in the Long Earth. Now, a message has been received: "Join us". The Next - the hyperintelligent posthumans - realize that the missive contains instructions for kick-starting the development of an immense artificial intelligence known as The Machine. But to build this computer the size of an Earth continent, they must obtain help from the more populous and still industrious worlds of mankind.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Love this series

  • By Anthony on 11-22-16

A little weak to be honest.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 09-08-16

I have referred to the Long Earth series as comfort food. Even though none of the subsequent books in the series matched the first, happens all too often, I still thoroughly enjoyed the ride.

And not being as good isn't necessarily a bad thing. Book one may have got an 8 out of 10. A 7 for the subsequent books still isn't that bad.

But this final chapter in the series gets a 6 I'm afraid.

All of the elements are there. Excellent narration, familiar characters. But as readers, and listeners, we're looking for something. We don't necessarily want the real world, or as its presented to us, we want something more.

A fictional work is the perfect platform to make assertions about existence that may not be well received by those who are asleep at the wheel. They don't read this stuff anyway.

This series felt as though it was building to something, but in the end did not take the risk.

Or, if it was there I missed it.

Equal crimes in my opinion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • The Long Utopia

  • A Novel
  • By: Terry Pratchett, Stephen Baxter
  • Narrated by: Michael Fenton Stevens
  • Length: 12 hrs and 5 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 630
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 586
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 588

It's 2045-2059. Human society continues to evolve on Datum Earth, its battered and weary origin planet, as the spread of humanity progresses throughout the many Earths beyond. Lobsang, now an elderly and complex AI, suffers a breakdown and, disguised as a human, attempts to live a "normal" life on one of the millions of Long Earth worlds. His old friend, Joshua, now in his 50s, searches for his father and discovers a heretofore unknown family history.

  • 3 out of 5 stars
  • The series is losing its way

  • By Thomas A Reeve on 06-10-16

Comfort Food

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-29-16

People are strange creatures. Often we do things that defy explanation. We might ignore money or choose the wrong girl. Maybe we develop a love of Jazz. No one really gets it, but it just strikes a chord with some people.

I'm joking.

The Long Earth was a great book. I read that one in print. A really intelligent idea that was well executed. My mind wandered for days. What would I do? Where would I go? What if I couldn't step? I've read more Baxter than Pratchett over the years, but this didn't matter.

Then I was introduced to The Long War and Michael Fenton Stevens. I didn't enjoy the War nearly as much but it didn't matter. The narration just felt right.

The same goes for The Long Mars and The Long Utopia.

Not as good as the first in the series, but it doesn't matter. Great narration, check. Intelligent ideas and storytelling, check. All the great characters, check. Though I have to admit, I'm no fan of Miss Linsay. Talk about a chip fit for a Long Earth! But I digress.....

I like the Long Earth world and am quite happy to spend time there. Even though the story doesn't hold me like it used to it is still strangely satisfying.

It might not make sense in a spreadsheet. But let's be honest.

What really worthwhile thing ever does?





  • The Last Tribe

  • By: Brad Manuel
  • Narrated by: Scott Brick
  • Length: 22 hrs and 42 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,577
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 8,062
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 8,046

Fourteen-year-old Greg Dixon is living a nightmare. Attending boarding school outside of Boston, he is separated from his family when a pandemic strikes. His classmates and teachers are dead, rotting in a dormitory-turned-morgue steps from his room. The nights are getting colder, and his food has run out. The last message from his father is to get away from the city and to meet at his grandparents' town in remote New Hampshire.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • A perfect year in the post apocalypse.

  • By Andrew Pollack on 06-18-16

Suggests 'The Preppers' may be wrong.

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 08-29-16

The romantic view of many survivalists involves heroism, weapons, isolation, weapons, hoarding and potentially violence. Did I mention weapons?

Hence the wide range of books that degenerate into good versus evil. Decent people are but pawns in the grand plans of impotent war lords or your run of the mill dope. Are they one in the same?

The grand flaw in the grand plan of these simpletons is numbers. Whether you really believe that morons can self organize in large numbers or not, the fact remains that a lone wolf with a cellar full of goodies is a prime target for a large group. The other, often brushed over, issue is that killing people isn't an easy, or really necessary, thing to do.

Where this story really excels is the idea that seeking out people, rather than hiding in the basement, is the more successful strategy in a post apocalyptic world. Especially considering the way we live today. Almost all facets of human survival are based on processes distributed across many different people and locations. Those able to live sustainably are few and far between.

This combined with the idea that people constantly antagonizing each other isn't entertaining, Reality TV anyone?, sets this book apart in a sea of death, destruction and, quite frankly, boredom.

The Last Tribe is an intelligent and potentially realistic look at life in the wake of a global disaster. Real people with real problems trying to do their best to survive.

I'm not one of those people hoping for society to fall. But if it did, I'd go looking for people like this.





1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • End of an Era

  • By: Robert J. Sawyer
  • Narrated by: David Marantz
  • Length: 7 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 117
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 113
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 112

Paleontologist Brandon Thackery and his rival, Miles "Klicks" Jordan, fulfill a dinosaur lover's dream with history's first time-travel jaunt to the late Mesozoic. Hoping to solve the extinction mystery, they find Earth's gravity is only half its 21st-century value and dinosaurs that behave very strangely. Could the slimy blue creatures from Mars have something to do with both?

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Fascinating!

  • By Simone on 07-08-16

Felt rushed.

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-21-16

This book looked promising. A trip back to see the ancient past, Dinosaurs no less. Who wouldn't want to take the trip?

Seems our intrepid adventurers are short of money and did little, or no, planning. Few useful resources and a seemingly risk free past Earth.

None of this would have mattered apart from two things;

1) A weak main character and his annoyingly arrogant 'best' friend
2) The 'Martian' voice, as spoken via a Dinosaur

I soon lost interest in our heroes and really didn't care what happened to them. I normally like Sawyer's characters so I guess you can't always win. But on top of this, this one felt rushed. More like a plot from a high school essay than the work of an author who has created some fantastic stories. A tight dead-line perhaps?

Unlike others, I found the multi-thread nature of the story pretty easy to follow and it was probably the thing that kept me listening to the end.

But the voice used for the Martians - no.